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Social and Feminist Influences of Austen and Shakespeare

By Khalil Jetha


Feminist thought is a movement truly indicative of your dynamic society. When manifested in books, it implies the breaking of old traditions, and the way in which where feminism is provided reflects the attitude of the writer and modern culture to these changes. In the case of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), presenting empowered females was of designated relevance as the Elizabethan period marked the best female monarchy England had ever before seen. However, after closer inspection it can be inferred that Shakespeare got an innate disregard for female authority, shown by examining the people Desdemona (from "Othello"), Kate (from "The Taming of the Shrew"), and Rosalind (from "As YOU PREFER It"). The prevailing methodology in Shakespeare's time was one of trepidation for the "wild" female, or a lady who did not conform to public goals. The so-called "feminist" personas merely served to provide form and dimensions to male characters and patriarchal styles. On the other hand, later authors such as Jane Austen (1775-1817) used empowered personas such as Elizabeth Bennet (from Pride and Prejudice), Elinor Dashwood (from Sense and Sensibility), and Catherine Morland (from Northanger Abbey) to present feasible realities within the framework of the modern culture where Austen lived. Working her personas into the platform of her era, Austen used women much less a way but as her end. Unlike Shakespeare's characters, whose wiles and individuality offered as gimmicks to market patriarchy, Austen's character types proved women who existed separately of male-dominated societies.

Through careful dissection and evaluation of text messages, Shakespeare's "Othello", "The Taming of the Shrew" (TOS), and "As YOU PREFER It" (AYLI), exemplify females whose independence and unorthodox qualities are eventually extinguished by overbearing male numbers. Desdemona, Kate, and Rosalind are radically different heroes encompassing various areas of the feminine psyche. Desdemona signifies a rebellious girl and sexually insatiable wife whose wiles cannot be manipulated by men, a attribute which drives her husband crazy. Kate, "the shrew", is the empowered girl who succumbs to the energy of population, forgoing her independence to become a wife, along the way experiencing a "miraculous" metamorphosis instigated by her husband's subjugation. Rosalind is unique one of the three, an omniscient whose altruist characteristics cedes dominance to her alter ego, Ganymede.

A more exact description of the word "feminist" pertains to Austen, whose characters do not provide to alter or develop male heroes. While successfully writing novels whose plots and personas easily fit into 18th century England, Austen manages to show a different side of women, a aspect that is adversely afflicted by the type weaknesses of men. Her novels Northanger Abbey (NA), Pride and Prejudice (PP), and Sense and Sensibility (SS) present females whose pensive imagination help them maneuver through the tumultuous and impractical societies where they end up living. NA's Catherine Morland, PP's Elizabeth Bennet, and SS' Elinor Dashwood are subtly different; however, the three feminine characters talk about their firm morals and unwavering integrity in common. Catherine Morland sees herself growing up in a world of first glances and vagaries, the sharp-witted Elizabeth Bennet spites the English bourgeois for his or her pride, discovering that she herself has prejudice to get over. SS' Elinor Dashwood detects that throughout her life she cannot rely only on men though population wills her to do so; all three women overcome tribulation to develop into worldly individuals, unlike Shakespeare's who either compromise their personality or lives in the course of their respective text messages.

Shakespeare's Heroes and Works

Shakespeare's "Othello" is distinctive among Shakespeare's tragedies since it presents a unique setting and persona establishment. The namesake and protagonist, a Moor (woman of African descent), transcends racial and spiritual boundaries to type in and lead the top notch of Venice. The interactions between Othello and other Venetians communicates Shakespeare's disdain for society, manifested in the villain Iago. From a feminist standpoint, however, the most widespread sufferer of tragic situation is not the Moor of Venice, but rather the girl he marries. Desdemona is the traditional martyr for feminist ideals, encumbered both as a female struggling to pursue a life with the one she loves of another race and as a woman residing in a man's world, attempting to guard her marital fidelity and personal integrity. As a feminist martyr, she is "helplessly unaggressive, " can "do nothing at all, " unable to "retaliate even in talk" because "her mother nature is infinitely special and her love complete" (Bloom 1987, p. 80). When Othello accuses her of compromising her fidelity, she is insulted and maintains her integrity by refusing to even answer such allegations. Viewed by the audience, this step is one of satisfaction and confidence. However, when she counters Othello, marginally mocking his insecurities by inquiring "[what he] could ask [her], that [she] should refuse/Or stand so mammering on, " he perceives it as her efforts at masking her own desires to seek sexual satisfaction beyond your bonds of matrimony (Take action III, World iii, lines 69-71).

Desdemona is continually struggling with her environment. On the one hand, she fits into world as a committed young female. On the other, she reveals a menace to the steadiness of patriarchal modern culture. By marrying outside her competition and religious beliefs, Desdemona defies custom by posing the scandal of miscegenated offspring. Confronted by her daddy, Desdemona vehemently rejects his concerns and contentions, favoring Othello even though she perceives "a divided obligation"; Desdemona rationally argues and only Othello, professing that she should show Othello the same preference her "mom show'd/To [Brabantio]" (Take action I, Scene iii, lines 178-188). In her debate that presupposes her assertiveness, Desdemona shows social boundaries a woman encounters: first she actually is bound by allegiance to her dad, then she grows to spend her life to her spouse.

From a gender issues standpoint, her identity as a sexually priced, erratic newlywed earns her little more than violent encounters with Othello and her eventual murder. Her incurred sexual character "catalyze Othello's intimate anxieties" through not fault of her own, as Iago manipulates Othello's marital instability to get started with (Bloom 1987, p. 81). In the long run, it is Othello's indecision, his incapability to "voice his suspicions straight" that further gasoline his insanity and manipulation at Iago's hands; Desdemona compensates the best price on her behalf loyalties, both in matrimony and to herself (Bloom 1987, p. 88). Throughout the play, Desdemona, like the other feminine personas of the play, never requires validation or reassurance of her value as a person. Othello signifies the need for public respect, grounds why Iago's ideas of Desdemona's infidelity drives him crazy. Desdemona is further degraded as Othello gives Iago more credit than he does indeed his own wife. In every his deceptions, "Iago's feigned love offers him vitality which Desdemona's genuine love cannot counteract"; Shakespeare shows his audience that female personality is surpassed in importance even by spurious male camaraderie (Bloom 1987, p. 91). A sufferer of male circumstances, Desdemona is tragically captured between the Iago's insecurities as a soldier surpassed by an outsider and Othello's insecurities as an outsider seeking sociable acceptance. Othello's matrimony to Desdemona objectifies her; Iago spites Othello for marrying Desdemona as it completes what Iago perceives as Fate's transgression against his stop in life. Othello, subsequently, is never sated, as his relationship to Desdemona should have consolidated his "power" as a man; instead, he resents Desdemona's self confidence and the energy that even a advice of her infidelity asserts over him. The feminist criticism of the institution of love revolves around love's living as a means of control; when Othello's male autonomy is jeopardized and he starts to speculate on his character as extra to his wife's sexual power, he should go crazy, ironically smothering her to loss of life using the same bed linens used at night time with their marriage's consummation. Desdemona's erstwhile practical marriage serves as the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back, as Othello "finds the scorn due the cuckold almost as difficult to tolerate as the loss of Desdemona" (Bloom 1987, p. 90). Shakespeare's presentation of Desdemona as a pawn in Iago's manipulation can be presented as his disdain with society's misogyny. However, Desdemona's portrayal as the helpless victim serves to help expand discredit female durability.

While the tragic fatality of Othello surpasses Desdemona's in literary importance, Desdemona becomes more tragic a character than her estranged husband. She has done nothing at all to earn the contempt of her hubby, whose murderous objective and eventual suicide serve as really the only method of self-validation. She's become an thing in Othello's "self-sacrifice", only another factor in Shakespearean tragedy. In his portrayal of Desdemona, Shakespeare may have been in a position to present a feminist case for the station of ladies in contemporary society and their abuses at the hands of men. But Othello is not made the villain: Iago is the individual portrayed as destroying a life, not in Desdemona's passing but in Othello's show up from sophistication. Desdemona, though a possible circumstance for the debate of feminist individuals in Elizabethan theater, is ultimately too passive to be always a feasible feminist. Had she asserted herself and called Othello's insecurity, her husband's pleasure may have been compromised, but it would serve as a way for him to recognize the principal culprits accessible. That Desdemona confronted her dad and not her own man plays the feminist discussion into doubt; matrimony, not self-sufficiency, was Desdemona's last goal. She sought neither to validate herself nor her sense of self-worth, but rather chose a life of devotion to the Moor she liked. In essence, she provided herself as a victim from the beginning.

Unlike other Shakespeare plays, TOS can be studied both in its historical context and simultaneously be applied to the modern sociable constrictions women face. In its historical context, the play presents a comical obstacle located between a guy and the thing of his affection. In a more contemporary environment, however, TOS is a story of one man's conquest over a woman's communal and emotional independence and the domestication of a free spirit. The aforementioned setting makes sport out of breaking Kate's will and reveals a theoretical rebuttal of radical feminism.

As TOS unfolds, the audience recognizes Kate as a cultural pariah, unfit for society as she spurns the institution of marriage and the thought of love. An unbiased, sharp-tongued woman, she is demonized by the neighborhood male population who recognizes her as a barricade stopping courtship of the demure, young, more favorable Bianca. It is not completely dismissible a concept that Shakespeare had written TOS with the intention of revealing the farce of certain types of relationship. Shakespeare may have juxtaposed the tenacious, resilient, and often violent Kate with the attractive Bianca to show the duplicity of public relationships. In his article entitled "The Taming of the Shrew Mocks the planet Mercantile Marriage", Gareth Lloyd Evans details the world of TOS as "mercantile to the finish, " showing how "even towards the end of its biggest purchase (the matrimony of Bianca), the gaming aspect remains" (Marvel 2000, p. 69). In the end, Kate becomes docile to the will of Petruchio, leaving Bianca flabbergasted at her sister's change of center. Kate's radical change from self-avowed hater of most things love and matrimony hence becomes the locus of the question of her dynamics as a feminist identity: was Shakespeare's portrayal of Kate as a virulent misanthrope a comic device or a communal message? If Shakespeare designed to use Kate very much the same with which he utilized the character of Desdemona in Othello (that is, as a means to the plot's end), then TOS takes on an entirely new direction. Using Kate as a comic device makes feminine independence the object of scorn and ridicule, and Shakespeare's tone toward feminist issues would be dismissive and, condescension not withstanding, misogynist. As the thing of a social statement, Kate would turn into a testament to the futilities of female cynicism and rejection of contemporary society.

Examining Kate's transition lends credibility to the said position. If Shakespeare was a feminist article writer, creating Kate's figure with the purpose of communicating a note to society at large, the "shrew" being tamed would be Petruchio. Instead, "Petruchio's taming of Kate" can be an work of instilling humility in "a spoiled, egotistical, well-fed, abundant woman" and forcing her to accept "a will apart from her own" (Marvel 2000, p. 147). The feminist standpoint would rather be one of prevailing contempt for Petruchio, a self-avowed interpersonal climber whose wish to marry Kate stems from enlargement of his family's prosperity. Like Desdemona, Kate's independence and durability as a lady identity are stifled by relationship; unlike Desdemona, Kate's marriage to the ruffian Petruchio is one with ulterior purpose. Kate's wedding is "a travesty and a sacrilege, " marred by Petruchio's intoxication and unruly garb (Marvel 2000, p. 152). Almost indicative of Petruchio's goal of "taming the shrew, " he further suppresses Kate by kissing her at the "'will' of 'I will not'" (Marvel 2000, p. 152). Ironically, the kiss signifies more than the overbearing will of intoxicated groom. The significance of pacifying Kate's sick will with a kiss is completely symbolic of her contentions toward TOS' opening. Ranking at the altar, her last cry is one against a life of pacification and subjugation under the supremacy of any husband. The particular "taming" will not begin until after marriage, a further explanation of Kate's disdain.

What is more interesting about Kate's "taming" is the means in which she is subdued. Pursuing her outrage at the spectacle of the marriage, Petruchio denies Kate food, insisting that it's for her own good. Later, he denies her access to the ornate clothing provided by the tailor. Before going out of for their return to Padua, Kate implores her hubby that they make haste, because they are later. Petruchio sputters that he'll not go, which she is reading enough time incorrectly; Petruchio condescendingly states that whenever they leave it will be at "what o'clock [he says] it is" (Function IV, Landscape iii, brand 189). The means refused Kate in her "taming" are food, clothing, and free will. Kate commences to rely on her husband for survival, warmth, and freedom of motion. Essentially, Petruchio becomes not only her husband but also her guardian, going out of Kate with the self-reliance of a tiny child. It really is almost as though he's brainwashing her, torturing her by keeping her starving, clothed in what way he views fit, restricting her movement and even forcing her sense of your time under the fetters of his will. Shakespeare's only subject matter here is not only the futility of female emancipation, but the repercussions of atypical female action. Kate is portrayed as earning her destiny through her belligerence and the times she put in terrorizing society with her outbursts and sporadic assault. The more a woman strays from the road society packages out on her behalf, the harsher the "punishment" in an inescapable future relationship.

The only negating aspect to the misogyny of Shakespearean assertion is Kate's characteristics. Though stubborn, Kate is "intelligent, too"; in her visible surrender to her husband's mad will, Kate realizes "she may take the breeze completely out of his sails, deprive his weapon of its power, even turn it against him-tame him in his own laughter" (Marvel 2000, p. 52). By entertaining his weird whims, Kate can change the tides against Petruchio, calling his bluff, so to speak. After all, Petruchio's madness is pressured, as he is trying to irk his partner and break her composure. As the entertaining, submitting partner, Kate also tames Petruchio; she conceivably leaves him no cause to be as erratic as the partner whose will he attempt to break. With this sense, Kate is Petruchio's similar, and in their social obscurity, they are made appropriate through the bonds of matrimony.

On the top, Rosalind is socially acceptable, like the majority of Shakespeare's characters. She is almost altruistic, exuding transcendent understanding of life and love. She chastises Silvius for his devotion to Phoebe, yet swoons for Orlando and does not develop embittered at the prospect of love in the manner TOS' Kate does. As one of the more engaging character types of the play, Rosalind, like "Othello's" Desdemona, goes against her uncle's needs in the pursuit of her love, in cases like this manifested by Orlando. Unlike Desdemona, however, Rosalind is more congenial, coaxing her uncle by imploring his forgiveness. Rosalind testifies to Duke Frederick that if she offended him in her affections for Orlando, it was "[never] a great deal just as a thought unborn" (Take action I, Field iii, lines 49-50). As a lady and a girl, Rosalind is the perfect woman to show society. She is polite, reserved, and sensible beyond her years. Her personality, however, shifts to a point unmatched by other Shakespearean heroes. Rosalind's power as a possible feminist character is most beneficial exemplified in her connections while cross-dressed as Ganymede ("Ganymed"). After she assumes the personality of the male Ganymede, Rosalind's personality unfolds as you who's both alluring and mysterious, alluring to the loving, erotic, and homoerotic aspects of theatre. She commences to have a more aggressive stance in her connections with Orlando, protecting against him from kissing her despite her desire, insisting that he should "speak first" (Function IV, World i, lines 69-74).

As mentioned previously, men were exclusive celebrities as women weren't permitted entry into the world of Elizabethan theatre. Homoeroticism was naturally an inescapable subtext to any Shakespearean play. The choice of the Greek mythological amount of Ganymede is indicative of Shakespearean homoeroticism. In Greek misconception, Ganymede was a shepherd youngster with whom Zeus (Jove) dropped in love. Rosalind with an Elizabethan stage would therefore be a male actor cross-dressed as a woman, who in the play cross-dresses as a homosexual man beguiling and perhaps somewhat manipulating the unsuspecting Orlando. When taken into this context, "As You Like It" reveals new depth and content. Michael Shapiro delves into cross-gender devices in his book Gender in Play on the Shakespearean Stage: Guy Heroines & Woman Pages. Rosalind adopts "three separate and specific levels of identity-Rosalind, [Ganymede], and 'Rosalind'" (Shapiro 1994, p. 119). The sole goal behind her schizophrenic metamorphosis is her love for Orlando, a guy she has barely fulfilled. The first Rosalind is the attractive character drawn to Orlando. Ganymede serves as a mentor to Orlando, a giver of advice; in her assumption of Ganymede's id, Rosalind alters her own aspect as a woman surviving in a patriarchy as she requires the role of the mentor, supplying "man-to-man advice to Orlando on the patterns of wives" (Shapiro 1994, p. 124). This ascension to egalitarian position with Orlando is reflective of the first feminist aim: to achieve total social equality with men.

The third Rosalind is the main one who acts according to the advice she provides Orlando as Ganymede, and incidentally is the most intriguing of the three identities. As Ganymede, Rosalind has a control over Orlando's emotions and thoughts. She can impact him whichever way she so pleases by suggesting, as a man, how Orlando ought to behave or respond to women as wives. As the 3rd Rosalind, she can indirectly have an effect on Orlando by either corroborating through her actions any advice she offered as Ganymede, or further discredit Ganymede by performing opposite. Rosalind ultimately has the choice of how she would like Orlando to accept her. Rosalind can covet Orlando's trust and affections as a man, and in doing so mold him to her preference so that she may later get him over as a woman. Ganymede's existence as a trusted friend of Orlando is significant as it is perhaps the only path Rosalind can enjoy equality. This facet of her cross-dressing is wholly non-feminist in its aspect. From a radical feminist standpoint, there must be no gender product labels, in which case Rosalind has didn't identify herself as such as she is forced to become a man. From a liberal feminist standpoint, gender brands can are present and dissimilarities should be respected. In the liberal feminist attitude, Rosalind has failed to gain equality as she is merely given reliability as a guy; the nature of the advice Orlando looks for regarding the character of women as wives can only just be trusted as from the man.

Equally plausible is the fact that Rosalind is required to act just how she will to get what she desires. Rosalind may took the initiative to attain her goals no matter the price tag on personal information. Furthermore, her man identity had the to liberate her woman identities; as Ganymede, Rosalind got the energy to determine to Orlando the way in which where women should be approached. Shakespeare experienced the chance to relay a note through his cross-dressing female hero, but didn't endeavor to such communication. Though working within the limits of his modern culture, Shakespeare did not address issues through Rosalind's people in the manner Austen will with her female protagonists. While heavy-handed techniques are not necessary, Shakespeare only flirted with the notion of empowered females as it augmented the situational comedy in AYLI.

Shakespeare's characters cannot be accurately described as feminists, despite having respect to the cultural norms they concern in his works. The Webster Dictionary defines feminism as "the theory of the politics, economic, and communal equality of the sexes. "

Though her matrimony to Othello was one of controversy, it was the one which tested the limitations of competition and religion-relations. Miscegenation, not misogyny, was addressed in their romantic relationship. Desdemona was perpetually a victim whose life rested entirely in the hands of her crazy partner. For Desdemona to be always a feminist or have even feminist characteristics, she would have found a sword and joined Othello in the military. The Venice where she lived only financially endowed her with a dowry, which would then be paid after matrimony. From a social standpoint, Desdemona may have been in a position to petition her fellow Venetians for help when she suspected Othello's violent tendencies. However, she thought we would leave her future in the hands of her partner, no matter the results.

Kate, though constantly haranguing the general public for the establishment of love, will not take her position for feminist reasons. The original feminist assault on the establishment of marriage focuses on relationship as forcing certain assignments on women (motherhood and subjugation under a hubby specifically). There is absolutely no sign that Kate required any of these stances; more plausible is the fact she is embittered by the fact that society forces marriage rather than why it is forced.

Rosalind could very well be the strongest identity of the three in question. That she actually is assertive has little regarding her personal information as a feminist persona. While there is little question that she actually is a hero and one of the foci of AYLI, but still less speculation on the strength of her personality, she still will not actively seek political or financial equality. There is no mention of her position on women in society. The most feminist facet of Rosalind is her ability to transcend gender. In cross-dressing, she reflects new treatment by Orlando. Though no more positive or negative than her treatment when Orlando recognized Rosalind as a woman, as Ganymede, Rosalind shows that Orlando approaches her with similar value. Rosalind's erotic empowerment will deify her to a certain level; it is as if she has the energy to evoke emotions in men that could erstwhile not are present.

With the exclusion of TOS' Kate, Shakespearean females are usually constructed individuals who donate to the development of a storyline or male identity. However, all three Shakespearean character types can be described as heroes to a degree. Carol Pearson identifies a hero in her publication The Feminine Hero in American and Uk Literature as you who "departs from convention and in that way either implicitly or explicitly challenges the myths define the status quo" (Pearson 1981, p. 16).

Desdemona, though sexually more ahead than other Shakespearean women, is at home in her environment. She actually is a born Venetian of high stature, and even though she helps to keep her romance with Othello technique, she's no conflicting interests in Venice. Her marriage for an outsider challenges the "myth" of essential same-race matrimony. Othello, on the other side, is a guy of different contest and religion, struggling to produce a name for himself in a new land. He's not almost as self-assured as Desdemona, his physical distinctions weighing on his conscience and charging him peace of mind. Where Desdemona has made peace to simply accept her own death (she requests the marriage sheets be placed on the foundation), Othello is never made up to the solution Desdemona exudes. In short, Desdemona serves as foil to Othello in every way; their union is one that naturally causes friction, without which Iago could not have the ability to manipulate the problem.

Kate and Petruchio are incredibly unique among Shakespearean lovers; though Petruchio is barely a hero by the Shakespearean norm of gallantry, he is the man who "tames the shrew. " However unorthodox a hero, Petruchio is the perfect match for Kate in his gruffness, his unkempt demeanor, and his communal shortcomings. The two have only their resilient personalities in common; Kate is more polished and presentable than her wily spouse, however the two both have a natural contempt for life that can only just be quelled by their marriage. Their romance is one of servant and master, the power balance shifting constantly. Though Kate detested the pandering of her earlier suitors, her interest for Petruchio budded because he was precisely the opposite of what society (and her father) wanted for her. To maintain her interest piqued, Petruchio effortlessly appealed to Kate and acquired to maintain a certain air about himself. Pursuing their marriage, Kate became subservient, accepting Petruchio's odd tendencies and purchases to pacify him (he never would have expected a docile Kate, and receiving one shifted manipulation back to Kate's hands). Though their personalities are strong, society's favour puts the advantage directly into Petruchio's hands as and a partner he also gained financial means. Kate is only a way to an end for Petruchio, whereas Petruchio is the one means for Kate to achieve what society needs of her.

Rosalind and Orlando are another anomaly, though in the long run, Rosalind prevails more for Orlando than vice versa. Cross-dressing aside, Rosalind's sweet temperament and witty rapport make her the perfect mate. Orlando, apart from his privileged labor and birth and distinctive wrestling skills, is rather normal in every respect. Rosalind exists and then marry Orlando, and while her transsexual tendencies are a force with which to be reckoned, her antics merely wait what an unavoidable relationship and living. Her previously mentioned teasing was a perfect metaphor for a life whose path she could not control.

Shakespeare as a Feminist

Whether in tragedies or comedies, Shakespeare's female characters range greatly in their character and the communal mold they can fit. Given the Elizabethan era in which Shakespeare lived, the majority of his more wily and lively female characters proceeded to go against the grain of contemporary society. However, most all of Shakespeare's better female characters took place in comedies, begging the question of whether they could be taken seriously as characters that could exist outside the realms of level narrative. That these strong female heroes exist only in comedies will not question any facet of society. Commensurate with his comedies' humorous undertones, Shakespeare might easily have made his feminine individuals strong because their lifetime would be laughable. After all, Elizabethan stage stars were all guy; women were never allowed in theater. Furthermore, the tendencies of comedic so-called "feminist" personas are to either succumb to society's restraints, or to be smothered by overpowering male dominance. The ladies of Shakespeare's has are usually the ones who change, often when they become committed. Katherina, for example, succumbs to marriage, settling for Petruchio, a drunkard whose ostentatious personality and strong sense of deviance outweighs her own rejections of conformity and domestication. Her resilience moves unrewarded, and she once more becomes a subservient body in the archetypal patriarchy of that time period. A large cause of feminine suppression in Shakespearean has was also open public acceptance. No patron, female or male, would go back to Shakespeare's productions if the prevailing themes or templates were the emancipation of women. Feminine assertion was a taboo, grounds why it was so popular in comedies. The greatest facet of comedies is the aversion of tragedy; negative happenstances that reach fruition are tragedies, and the same happenstances that are avoided are comedies. As the defining characteristic of a humor, the resolution of your problem is mirrored in the pacification of said comedy's woman rogues. The strength of ladies in Shakespeare's works, therefore, is a literary tool used to develop the glory and triumph of men and the patriarchies in which they exist.

What can't be dismissed, however, is the framework in which Shakespeare composed the takes on. Speculation of his historical environment denote Shakespeare's trend to pander to leadership, in cases like this, England's greatest female monarch, Elizabeth I. Though population was mainly patriarchal, the monarchy led by queen who didn't marry. It is not completely unlikely that Shakespeare pandered to the female monarch, emulating her reluctance to wed in his "The Taming of the Shrew. " Queen Elizabeth, in the end, did not marry, nor would she match society's mildew of the normal woman. Shakespeare's individuals were daring for the time, as they also broke the mold of Elizabethan women. Unlike Queen Elizabeth, however, the strong female people of Shakespeare's takes on were exemplified by their potential to control, control, and overpower men. In lots of ways, the effectiveness of women served as a way to make women antagonists. For instance, Desdemona's power been around to drive Othello mad with her unchecked sexuality. She exhibited a ability over men, the one that would not be contained or handled by men. Though Iago manipulated the people of "Othello", it was extreme jealousy that drove the play's namesake mad, leading to him to get rid of himself and the woman he could not control. The meaning conveyed in Othello could be construed to be a foreboding one to women in world and the men that dominated them: losing control of women and compromising male dominance brings about tragic outcomes.

Shakespeare's Rosalind was unique, different from Desdemona and Katherina in her omniscience and enlightened talk about. Though the intricacy of her thoughts and thoughts is unrivaled in "As YOU PREFER It, " she takes on a darker part, one of manipulation and communal subversion. Though laudable, her social deviance still leaves the play looking for a male counterpart to complement her. She cannot criticize the particular stations of women and men for too long without succumbing to love's fetters herself. It is as if Shakespeare is interacting the futility of feminine nonconformity. Shakespeare's penultimate subject matter in comedic feminine individuals is one of concession. Though women are pleasant to mock and modern culture and live outside its bounds, they all must eventually "grow" into wives and docile domesticates.

Austen's Characters and Works

Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey

Catherine Morland is a socially respectable individual. Her pleasant demeanor and child-like charms are reminiscent of literature's ideal young lady, as she comes of age, Catherine becomes the most desirable wife. As a woman, Catherine's naЇvet places her aside from most of Austen's heroines. It drives the book, making her move in frame of mind toward friends and enthusiasts believable. Catherine's innocence (or ignorance, depending on attitude of the critic) leads her into Isabella's world of balls, galas, and gossip. A fairly, demure lady, there are few boundaries that hamper her communal ascension through Isabella. Catherine's indomitable sanguinity separates her from PP's Elizabeth, whose pointed wit and spite would never manage her the same level of popularity Catherine so easily enjoys with top of the category. NA's "[heroine is] deficient, lacking discrimination" (Bloom 1987, p. 61). The reader observes Catherine befriending the elitist Isabella and, after a short parting from Henry, becoming enamored with John. Her innocence is a catalyst for the crux of the book, wherein she chooses to be happy and forgo privileged financial establishment.

Susan Morgan, in her "Guessing for Ourselves in Northanger Abbey", studies Catherine's figure because so many indicative of "human character, at least in the midland counties of Great britain". Though Catherine makes noble decisions in her marriage to Henry and friendship with Eleanor, she has "naturally little or nothing heroic about her" (Bloom 1986, p. 109). She neither sets out to marry like Desdemona, nor will she adamantly oppose it like Kate. It as is if Catherine is totally indifferent to her life's alternatives once her head is defined. The fluidity of her personality and compatibility with such contrasting heroes as John and Henry or Isabella and Eleanor suggests a complete lack of bias. Catherine's aloofness may very well have offered to make an opposing shift; possessed she found Eleanor first and set up a healthy marriage with John, she might easily have remained friends with Isabella and could not have hitched Henry. It is her ambiguity of identity that helps prevent her from being feminist; characters like Elinor Dashwood and Elizabeth Bennet assert themselves with techniques Catherine does not.

Morgan makes the idea that "in the first section of [NA] Austen ensures us that Catherine Morland is unpropitious for heroism", suggesting Catherine's literary allure is her similarity to typical people (Bloom 1986, p. 111). An accommodating description of Catherine's deficit in perception and maturity in figure goes as far as labeling Catherine as an inferior persona, begging the question of her pliancy in surviving in a patriarchy. Catherine's indifference suggests her acceptance of the conditions that encompass her; she feels you don't need to harangue culture like Kate of TOS or Elizabeth of PP. Catherine's progress and change is comparatively limited when juxtaposed to that of the female protagonists of PP or SS. Morgan asserts Catherine's sanguinity as indicative of her static personality; "the freedom, naturalness, and spontaneity" Catherine exudes at ten remain "qualities Catherine still has at seventeen" (Bloom 1986, p. 111). The subtlety in Catherine's change is not unlike that of Elizabeth Bennet; Elizabeth Bennet only changes in her approach to Darcy, in the same way Catherine only changes in her method of people. Catherine, like Elizabeth of PP, "fails twice in her judgments of individuals, first in considering Isabella good and General Tilney bad" (Bloom 1986, p. 112). While Elizabeth's epiphanic transfer in her marriage to Darcy reverted her to a mature state, Catherine remains lacking in assertion. She is almost something of the coterie gossip to which Isabella introduces her. Like Elizabeth, Catherine jumps to conclusions prematurely, but unlike Elizabeth, Catherine's conclusions are attracted from other people's persuasions, observations, and views. Morgan purports Austen's career of Catherine's astounding passivity as a literary tool exemplifying "what she manages to lose when she allows other people's views" (Bloom 1986, p. 112).

Finally in a position to isolate deception from simple fact, Catherine marries Henry, a guy of acoustics integrity and good personality. However, Catherine still does not grow very much the same as her fellow Austen protagonists. Austen used Catherine to mention a spot as she uses her other heroes. The difference with NA is the roundabout fashion where Austen conveys her themes or templates through Catherine's insufficient wisdom. Elinor and Elizabeth assert themselves in their respected books, making Austen's items through direct action. Catherine, on the other hand, reveals themes through the precise opposite, in other words, through her very inaction. Though Catherine may be considered a feminist in the making, her de-prioritization of course status had not been much indicative of her moral fibre as it was a choice for the personas of Henry and Eleanor Tilney themselves. It really is Catherine and Eleanor's mutual love for catalogs that bring them along; while Catherine is not drawn to people for their wealth or social status, she does not exude the prejudice of Elizabeth Bennet, either.

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth Bennet is not the public pariah of famous brands Kate in TOS. Elizabeth, like her male counterpart Darcy, is polished and surprisingly adult. She is respectful of her dad, and though her mom is overbearing and enthusiastic about marrying off all her daughters, Elizabeth never crosses the bounds of propriety in working with her mom. Elizabeth is in a natural way "morally sound, " obvious "in her thoughts about relationship, which are characterized by a concern with establishing a proper relationship between your requirements of personal feeling and the need for financial security" (Bloom 1987, p. 60).

Despite her harsh critiques on marriage and the English bourgeois, Elizabeth concedes that she has faulty wisdom and is the owner of up to her erroneous conclusions. Throughout her development, Elizabeth is found in many ways to be a classic feminist figure; her natural disdain for the prosperous Bingley women is representative of the feminist ideology of communal equality, and her reluctance to get married to the wrong man is a solid allusion to the feminist eschewing of matrimony. Elizabeth's eventual marriage and marriage to Darcy symbolizes the transcendence of category, one of the constant topics throughout PP.

What separates PP from the normal Shakespearean play is the way of the protagonists' interactions. As being a central concentrate of the play, Elizabeth never encounters impossible possibilities in life, never needing to conquer demons of any type. Instead, the "union of wit and drama is achieved with complete success only in the central sequence of [PP], in the display of Elizabeth's and Darcy's revaluation of each other" (Watt 1963, p. 63). Like a testament to gender equality, both Darcy and Elizabeth have their reservations about each other's backgrounds and intentions. For instance, Elizabeth is continually wary of Darcy as an urban snob who too quickly makes assumptions about country life. She actually is guarded as his views involve her family. Elizabeth's suspicions of Darcy expand into spite, culminating with her brief companionship with Wickham, who Darcy respect with a certain amount of spite. Austen presents the character types of Elizabeth and Wickham carefully, making sure that Elizabeth never fully becomes enamored with him for his kind facade. Instead, Austen portrays Elizabeth as "completely and willfully [misjudging] Darcy's personality, [looking over] Wickham's faults due to the fact he is Darcy's opponent" (Bloom 1987, p. 60).

Darcy almost mirrors Elizabeth, who in turn suspects the Bennet category of going to marry Jane Bennet to the prosperous Charles Bingley entirely for his money. Though his suspicions are typically created out of matter for his good friend, Darcy admittedly concedes his prejudice toward the lower classes equally as Elizabeth admits to her prejudice toward the bourgeois. Austen brilliantly weaves the two characters along, who are spiteful and immature only to one another throughout the book. The mirrored character development of Elizabeth and Darcy overlap as Darcy unveils Wickham's dubious past, leading to the "revaluation" and budding relationship they discuss. The paralleling of Darcy and Elizabeth serves as an added allusion to the concept of equality. Though both characters are "extremely mature people by the time [they] meet, " both heroes develop and overcome what small defects in common sense they display despite their good motives (Bloom 1987, p. 60).

Somewhat more heavily symbolic is Elizabeth's trip to Netherfield, where Jane has considered ill from the rainy weather. During her trip, Elizabeth's carriage is caught up, and not one to waste time while her sister ails, Elizabeth sets off to the Bingley's real estate, fully dressed up and marching through grass and mud in order to reach Jane. In doing this, she hazards her health as she traverses the panorama in similar weather. What is most notable is the fact that Elizabeth leaves the comfort of the carriage directed on her behalf by the Bingleys, a testament to her indomitable satisfaction and air of self-reliance. Furthermore, Elizabeth leaves the mentor drivers, abandoning male "protection. " As she strolls through, ruining her clothes, Elizabeth makes the audience "believe that the rules of propriety prohibiting solitary cross-country hikes for young ladies-rules which are concerned with the neatness of the lady's appearance and the possible threat to her consequent upon making a practice of walking long distances alone-ought rationally to be set aside in this different situation" (Bloom 1987, p. 9). Thus, Austen reveals Elizabeth, a socially appropriate female, in a socially unacceptable position. Feminism is often viewed the same manner, a socially acceptable idea usually offered in what exactly are identified to be socially undesirable ways. Walking through the countryside, Elizabeth "breaks no moral legislation"; she instead makes Neglect Bingley uncomfortable with her disheveled, muddied appearance (Bloom 1987, p. 10). The juxtaposition of the muddied Elizabeth and the prim Miss Bingley illustrates the disparity between your interpersonal coteries of the proletariat and bourgeois. Elizabeth's position as a lower-class person is accentuated by her ragged appearance and the circumstances that compelled her to walk to Netherfield. The stalled instructor is representative of the stationary lower course, unable to ascend through the social rates. Elizabeth's walk is an correct image of the tribulations experienced at the beckoning of the wealthy, and Pass up Bingley's disgust is indicative of the bourgeois prejudice to the lower class, unaware of the causes because of their express and being.

Elizabeth and Jane's relationships to Darcy and Charles Bingley (respectively) are an efficient means of conversing Austen's prefer to overcome economic disparity. PP is not a fairy tale; the romances were fraught with Jane's health problems, Elizabeth's suspicions, and the impact of Darcy's insecurity over Charles Bingley. The individual development of both Elizabeth and Darcy show Austen's feminist sentiments of monetary and social equality. Austen may have conceivably switched jobs, with the Bennet family being rich and the Bingleys the less economically-advantaged, but Austen needed to work within the public boundaries of her time: men may marry women of lower cultural school, but women seldom ever marry men of lower stature.

Elinor Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility

Impoverished by the unfair will and testament of her daddy and neglect by her newly financially endowed brother, Elinor Dashwood is more of any social outcast than her contemporaries in the Austen literary canon. Representing the "sense" facet of SS, Elinor would be socially reputable were it not on her behalf family's economic reliance on men. From the start, her father's death models her up to be one of the most independent Austen heroes, though her self-reliance is not the type most would condone in Austen's time.

Elinor, her sisters, and mom find themselves with out a male inside your home. Following Henry Dashwood's fatality, the errant boy John inherits the majority of the Dashwood real estate and leaves his sisters and stepmother with almost nothing. A reflection of the times, Austen shows the reader her disdain for the reliance women have on the men of their families. The estate had not been kept to the three daughters or his widow; Henry Dashwood instead opted to leave everything to his only child, a testament to the patriarchal British hundred years. That John Dashwood was feeble-minded and a money-grubbing fool didn't disqualify him from inheriting his father's house. More alarming are the Dashwood sisters' natural integrity and the isolated condition in which they found themselves; society didn't intervene in the unfairness of the Dashwood inheritance. Austen shows the audience through this simple real truth that women can rely upon no one to keep themselves.

The circumstances facing Edward's top secret proposal to Lucy Steele, the gold-digging female counterpart of John Dashwood, are ambiguous at best. Edward's mother threatened to disown him and write him out of his rightful inheritance upon hearing of his engagement to Lucy, therein going out of everything to his more radiant brother Robert. Mirroring Elinor's original predicament, Edward is faced with sacrificing everything unrightfully to his sibling. Edward, then, needs advantage of the situation and concedes to his mother's will in order to remain financially stable, a measure Elinor was unable to pursue. This is another indication of the inequities of patriarchy, a representation of the feminist cause of interpersonal equality.

Of Lucy, Elinor, and Edward, only Elinor "must labor under the weight not only of her broken heart but of all the social responsibility" (Bloom 1986, p. 51). When tending to Marianne's sickness, Mrs. Jennings leaves Elinor with Lucy, which takes a comic flip as Edward is named in to the room. Edward can say nothing at all, and Lucy is empowered in the problem as the top class woman employed to the love of Elinor's life. An entirely unique situation, the two women are at odds as the man, Edward, is remaining impotent, unable to say anything to change the problem for fear of sacrificing face. Elinor will not "labor under the weight of social responsibility" in the sense that she has to stay the dutiful girl, subjugated under the oppressive will of your male-dominant society. Somewhat, she is bound by the propriety that binds all Austen works as works of manners. In this unique struggle, Austen reveals a distinctive woman-versus-woman situation, exemplifying a fresh protagonist/antagonist romantic relationship. Most works require male heroes who have to conquer some bad, usually manifested by villains or circumstance. With Elinor and Lucy, the discord changes to a school struggle. Binding the low course Elinor and aspiring bourgeois Lucy is Edward, a pawn and object of affection flaunted to be able to further talk about supremacy. For the first time, it is a guy objectified and not a woman. Equally as Desdemona was a ruin of sociable climbing in "Othello", Edward becomes a prize shown off by Lucy in order to combine her social supremacy over Elinor. Therefore, Elinor's marriage to Edward becomes not a public triumph of girl marrying man, but a intimate category competition between two women of different backgrounds. Lucy aims to prove to Elinor that she cannot go above her modest social accommodations by marrying her favorite Edward, and Elinor can only just consolidate what dignity she's kept by not conceding to Lucy's efforts to elicit a effect. Ironically, the harder Elinor tries to remain composed, the more Lucy succeeds; this can be a sociable paradox indicative of the childishness of cultural class. In cases like this, Elinor is not a feminist as she will not assert herself on behalf of her own joy or wellbeing, though the circumstances are of feminist mother nature (two women battling over a man).

Findings: Austen's Character types as Feminists

Catherine is perhaps the one Austen figure here examined who's not a feminist. Much like Rosalind of AYLI, Catherine's incapability to say herself or addresses the issues encircling her determines her never to be considered a feminist. While she exudes certain areas of positive female figure growth, it is not, by the strictest meaning feminist. Catherine's indifference and naЇveterinary prevent her from assuming the feminist role; she will not go out of her way expressing her chagrin at any aspect of culture, though she will transcend the limitations of callous upper category living. Unlike Elizabeth and Elinor, she fails to confront the greater abrasive people in her life. Her preference of Henry and Eleanor Tilney is more of the reflection of her own wants and preferences superceding the impetus of wealth and social school; it isn't a moral choice or conscientious action made as a statement of value.

Elizabeth, on the other side, is the archetypal feminist. She's a razor-sharp wit and will not be reluctant to let her tone of voice be listened to. Her matrimony to Darcy was one of her own decision, one made after a protracted time period and of her own volition. Unlike her mother, who presents the contingent of female modern culture entrenched in the competition for male domination, Elizabeth asserts her liberty as a woman, both intellectually and in person. Austen's portrayal of Elizabeth paralleled with Darcy (exposed, in turn, by the end of the novel) enhances Elizabeth's feminist character as she is made an equal with Darcy in her maturity and development. Both Elizabeth and Darcy get over their "pride and prejudice, " demonstrating that while they can be exceptional people, they both are fallible and subject to criticism sometimes.

Elinor is a smaller degree of feminist. However, she exudes a reliance on men, manifested through her desire of Edward despite his secret proposal to Lucy Steele. Though not his problem, Edward was allowed free reign to commit as many social mistakes as you possibly can. This reveals a natural inequity between male and feminine character types, and shows Elinor as subservient to the desire to be wed. So centered is Elinor that her want to marry eclipses her own quality of thought. Though Austen portrays Elinor as having sense, Elinor does not push the sociable envelope to the degree Elizabeth Bennet will. Alternatively, the feminist struggle is forced on her through the problem kept by her inactive dad and negligent sibling. A true feminist wouldn't normally have relied on the patriarchal system to save lots of her well-being; however, Elinor's assistance with the communal framework of that time period was anticipated to desperation and the impoverished state where she all of the sudden found herself.

Elizabeth and Darcy are the most identical couplings in Austen's books. Their trends as people mirror one another and supplement the other's identity. In a distinctive turn of occasions, Darcy assumes the hero role only after he reveals Wickham's true mother nature and apologizes for motivating Bingley to reject Jane. Elizabeth is really as heroic, evidenced by her Netherfield march through grass and mud, reducing her femininity to reach her ailing sister. She stands when confronted with criticism and disdain, first by her marriage-obsessed mom and then by the disgust and disapproval of Pass up Bingley.

Elinor and Edward also mirror one another, but to a new level than Elizabeth and Darcy. Where Elinor remains smart and morally upright, it can only just be speculated that Edward breaks off his engagement to Lucy Steele pursuing his mother's risks upon finding of the partnership. It is never intimated whether or not Edward acted on his true feelings, and what those emotions were. Was Elinor another choice? Edward might easily have cared for Elinor, but at exactly the same time dedicated his energies to courting Lucy Steele. Edward actually only becomes a hero after he marries Elinor; his status on the book shows Shakespeare's women and their role in dilemma. Edward is unique for the reason that he exists and then develop the storyline and enhance Elinor's personality.

Henry is much more assertive and morally acoustics than Catherine, mainly because the reader never witnesses him faltering in his identity. Though a manifestation of his life as a secondary character, Henry does not oscillate between interpersonal circles in the same manner as Catherine. As an indecisive and immature personality, Catherine's allure to the audience is that she is not really a heroine; her commonplace appearance and persona are intentionally offered to show the reader the spoils of integrity and the deficits of character bargain. What makes Catherine an efficient personality is her capacity to show the audience, through her action as well as inaction, the morals behind her circumstances. The independence of the reader to infer models Catherine aside from her fellow Austen woman protagonists.

Austen's work demonstrates a switch in attitudes toward female individuals. Unlike Shakespearean takes on that utilized women as a literary device, Austen's books put ladies in the forefront. Austen's feminine protagonists not only featured multiple proportions in character, they also showcased the manipulation of women by duplicitous men. Where Shakespeare's tragic heroes like Othello were led astray by evil men or influenced crazy by the beguiling sexuality of women, Austen's women are morally up-right people whose good intentions are marred by the sick will of men.

NA is exclusive among Austen's works, even among its contemporaries here examined. Austen takes a female coming-of-age book and makes it incredible; where she might well have opted to make NA an endorsement of British patriarchy, she instead centered on the introduction of Catherine as a man. Shakespeare's female heroes were often of an individual sizing in their characterization. No epiphany resulted in a substantial change in a Shakespearean female figure. Austen, on the other palm, presented a versatile Catherine, person who abandoned a rich John (not forgetting a married relationship into bundle of money) in favor of Henry, the humble clergyman. Women of the age could have swooned for a guy of John's riches, as a woman's life was either put in in a convent or elevating children with an house. With Catherine's humility and genuine persona, Austen places importance on relationship as an organization of mutual love rather than one of profit. In doing so, Austen shows her audience a deeper side of female personas, exposing women who grow as people who have lives beyond your world demarcated by social restrictions. Through Catherine, Austen communicated desires and dreams that travelled against the grain of population, but were nurtured and pursued all the same. More important than the compound of the message was the press; Austen were able to relay these subtleties in a 18th century framework specifically from a woman's viewpoint.

The reader observes Catherine, like her counterparts Elinor and Elizabeth, from an totally female perspective, delving in to the world young girls and women experience on a daily basis. Whether Catherine's outdoors imagination and its own comical your hands on her reasoning, the protagonist's total personality is discovered in NA's pages. In addition, Catherine's growth takes place in all periods of life; as an unwed girl, her camaraderie with Isabella dissipates despite Isabella's advantages of Catherine into the upper school and their sociable coterie. Catherine favors the meek Eleanor Tilney for the same reason she cherished Eleanor's older brother Henry; despite her meager track record and the confidence that Eleanor wouldn't normally help Catherine ascend communal ladders as Isabella experienced, Catherine befriended Eleanor on her behalf personal value and strategy. Later in life, Catherine pursues her wishes as a female desiring relationship, but will so within society's dictates, looking forward to Basic Tilney's blessing.

PP showcases Austen's opining on the obstacles women face. The imagery of Elizabeth's muddied dress reveals a change in the manner women are identified; unlike the other women in her world, Elizabeth leaves the security of her instructor and hikes three miles to attain her ailing sister. The imagery of a woman abandoning male attendance is symbolic in two distinct ways: 1) it shows a female who has the power to know what she needs no matter the price, and 2) it presents a female who shirks the socially-accepted and expected image of an effeminate female. As Elizabeth leaves her trainer, she abandons its physical shelter, risking her health as her sister experienced previously. Furthermore, marching through the grasses and ruining her dress ascribed her a sort of soldier-like image. That she was scorned after her appearance to the Bingley house is a testament to the cultural asphyxiation exerted by women after other women; Neglect Bingley is disgusted that Elizabeth could have such disdain for customarily female things (her dress and male cover).

Feminine freedom is a continuing theme throughout SS, as soon as again, Austen communicates her items within an 18th century-appropriate manner. Austen portrays women who are constantly abandoned by men, manifested first in the loss of life of Henry Dashwood, leaving his widow and three daughters in an environment of financial instability. Later, Marianne's John Willoughby abandons her for financial reasons, leaving her while he deviates using their attachment in London. Elinor later discovers Edward's secret proposal to Lucy Steele, and following a end of the first 1 / 2 of the reserve, men have failed women in Austen's world in every sense: romantically, fiscally, and matrimonially. Men are made painfully mortal and are scarcely the beacons of population portrayed in Shakespeare takes on. Austen's portrayal of women as vibrant character types evokes rigidity in beneficial male individuals; in growing and revealing all areas of her female heroes, Austen's growing male characters end up being the manipulators and the literary devices that donate to the plot and the betterment of feminine protagonists. The "good" male people never change: what changes is Elinor and Marianne's belief of them. Edward remains a sufferer of sociable circles, where John subsequently is unveiled to be exactly what everyone apart from Marianne got known him to be. His debauchery and duplicity expands, culminating in his declaration of engagement to Miss Grey. Following John's proposal to the wealthy heiress, Marianne weds Colonel Brandon, the man who all along had stood by his term and continued to be the static "good guy".

Austen was a feminist copy writer, however tied to the constraints of her era. Unlike Shakespeare, whose characters' powerful feminine presence may have served as a comical or tragic device throughout a play, Austen's female personas were the protagonists, and dished up no purpose other than simply to are present. Their development and life may have been influenced by male discussion, however the women of Austen's has were reliant upon no auxiliary male persona.


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